Photo of Eagle Rock valley, about 1890.

The Eagle Rock is a huge "conglomerate" or "puddingstone". Twelve million years ago there were hot springs just north of the rock. Lime from the springs cemented thousands of field stones and boulders together to form this one great rock. Near the top of the rock, erosion has formed an overhang which when viewed around the noon hour casts the shadow of a spread eagle.

The Eagle Rock, in 1784, became a marker of the first land grant in Californian when the King of Spain granted it to Don Jose Verdugo.

Indians inhabited the caves of the Eagle Rock for centuries before its discovery by the Spanish explorer Portola in 1770. Near the rock's base they smoked the pipe of peace with Portola's party, using native wild tobacco which still grows here. A village of Gabrielino Indians occupied the little valley at the base of the Eagle Rock, attracted there by abundant supply of water. The village consisted of thatched dwellings, a sweat house, and a ceremonial enclosure.

In 1870, the Eagle Rock caves were inhabited by the Mexican bandit Vasquez, and at one time were used by a whole band of desperadoes to hide their loot. Legend has it that some of the treasure is still buried in this area, concealed from seekers.

From a typewritten essay in the archives of Arroyo Seco Library. Date and Author unknown.


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